With interest in cryptocurrency and crypto mining at an all time high, some were surprised that NVIDIA didn’t focus on that segment at its annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC). The company has had a rocky relationship with crypto-miners, who have in recent years intensified demand for NVIDIA’s GPUs.

While this is good for the bottom line, it also makes it hard for NVIDIA to keep its graphics card in stock for gamers and other users. After noting that cryptocurrency mining represents only a small fraction of NVIDIA’s GPU business, CEO Jensen Huang distanced himself from the Bitcoin market, stating, “We’re not involved in Bitcoin at all.

Bitcoin [mining] is done largely by ASICs today.” Unlike the GPU, which can handle a range of high-level computing power from deep learning to artificial intelligence, ASICs are efficient application-specific integrated circuit designed for a single task. It is estimated that cryptocurrency mining accounted for at least six percent of GPU sales last year, and that number is poised to grow this year.

Where NVIDIA has a prominent role in the cryptocurrency market is Ethereum, a competing type of cryptocurrency. “What uses our GPU is Ethereum,” Huang said.

“Ethereum ‘ether’ was designed as an algorithm to ensure that no singular entity or a few entities has the power to control the ether. It was designed so that the algorithm requires the type of computing capabilities — the type of processing capabilities — that are made possible by the use of GPUs in a distributed system.” Huang didn’t bother with a mention of cryptocurrency at the company’s keynote earlier this week, despite that many gamers assume mining is to blame for the rising prices of GPUs. Read more from digitaltrends.com…

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